A freshwater spring was discovered by Native Americans around 400 A.D. in the Sandy Springs area just north of present day Atlanta. These Native Americans lived and worked in the area until the early 1800s when gold was discovered and they were forced to move. Shortly thereafter, the federal government offered a land lottery and a small community named after the local spring was established. By 1842 the Austin-Johnson House was built on Johnson Ferry Road and is today the oldest unaltered home in Sandy Springs. After World War II, Sandy Springs like other communities in the area, experienced a housing boom, but major development followed the completion of the local interstate road system in the 1960s.
In the 1970s the city of Atlanta began attempts to annex Sandy Springs into the city limits, but through the efforts of the Committee for Sandy Springs this process was avoided for the next thirty plus years. In 2005 Sandy Springs was successfully incorporated as a new city and is today Georgia’s 7th largest city.
Downtown Sandy Springs, at present, does not resemble a traditional downtown layout. Long-term area redevelopment plans for a municipal complex and city hall are in process for a site on Johnson’s Ferry Road at Sandy Springs Circle. A new street grid layout is also being considered to give the area a more traditional feel.
Many of the neighborhoods associated with this new city are both affluent and beautiful. Riverside, in the western district, has lush, hilly landscape and winding roads; Dunwoody Panhandle is known as the “Buckhead of Sandy Springs” and is located alongside the affluent Dunwoody city limits; the western part of Perimeter Center is a commercial area of office towers and home to three major area hospitals; North Springs is the northern most part of the city and home to the North Springs MARTA Station and terminus of the MARTA North-South line; and the affluent, mansion area of Sandy Springs ITP extends inside the Perimeter and adjoins the Atlanta city limits.
Sandy Springs is an area that abounds with arts and festivals. The Sandy Springs Festival, which is a nonprofit event that supports the historic and cultural identity of the city, has been held each year since 1984. It is the largest community event in the city and features performances by local acts, live music, a juried artists market, a children’s play area, a teen area with inflatables and bungee jumps, a civic and business expo, a pet parade, a 10K / 5K race, a food court, and much more.
The Georgia Foundation for Public Spaces and ArtsSpring sponsor the Sandy Springs Artapolooza each year featuring approximately 150 nationally noted artists for your viewing and purchasing pleasure. If speed is what interest you then the professional Sandy Springs Cycling Challenge is where you will want to be. This bike race is the finale for the US Crits Speed Week and is only for professional riders. Proceeds benefit the local police and fire departments. The annual Chattahoochee River Summer Splash is a leisurely float in the beautiful Chattahoochee River and an afternoon of food, fun, and music for the entire family.
The city of Sandy Springs is home to nine parks that feature picnic pavilions, hiking, soccer fields, baseball fields, boat dock / fishing pier, tennis courts, basketball courts, and playgrounds. Three additional parks provide standard amenities and recreational facilities. Heritage Green Park, in the center of downtown, is on the site of the underground spring for which the city if named, and is also home to the Heritage Sandy Springs Museum. A full calendar of events and programs are offered throughout the year.
Restaurants and Shopping
When you are ready to relax and recharge then Sandy Springs has a great selection of restaurants that offer the best in down-home cooking or selections from around the world. Ray’s On The River on Powers Ferry Road for great food and a beautiful view of the river; Charlie Mopps Public House on Roswell Road for good food and an amazing beer selection; Food 101 on Roswell Road for tasty food by Chef Justin Keith; Olive’s Waterside on Powers Ferry Road for fresh ingredients and a relaxing atmosphere; 5 Seasons Brewing on Roswell Road fof pizza and beer; Joli Kobe Bakery & Bistro on Roswell Road for lunch and baked goods; Genki Noodles & Sushi on Roswell Road for sushi that rivals that found in Japan; Ippolito’s Italian Restaurant on Roswell Road for exceptional Italian food and excellent service; and Meehan’s Public House on Sandy Springs Place for a real Irish pub experience.
If shopping is a sport to you then you will be delighted at the variety of locations and the number of selections that will tempt and entertain. Within the Sandy Springs area is a multitude of shopping opportunities including twenty shopping centers. All-In on Summit Springs Drive for outstanding fashion jewelry; BBD Custom Creations for all occasion gift baskets; TK Designs on Roswell Road bridal boutique and dressmaker; and Psycho Sisters Consignment on Hammond Drive for an interesting consignment selection.
Residents of Sandy Springs send their children to High Point Elementary School, Dunwoody Springs Charter elementary School, Heards Ferry Elementary School, Lake Forest Elementary School, Spalding Drive Charter elementary School, ison Springs Elementary School, Woodland Charter elementary School, Ridgeview Charter Middle School, Sandy Springs Middle School, Riverwood High School, and North Springs Charter School of Arts and Sciences.
Private schools in the area are The Doris & Alex Weber School High School, Brandon Hall School, Holy Spirit Preparatory School, The Epstein School, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, St. Jude the Apostle Catholic School, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, and The Alfred and Adele Davis Academy.
Local colleges and universities in the area are Oglethorpe University, Agnes Scott College, Columbia theological Seminary, American InterContinental University, Troy University, Emory University, and Georgia Perimeter College. Also located nearby is the Georgia Institute of Technology, John Marshall Law School, Georgia State University, and the Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta campus.
Sandy Springs is served by the MARTA rail system via the North Springs and Medical Center MARTA Stations on the North-South line. MARTA also operates several bus lines in the area.
Interstates that serve the area are I-285 east and west and I-400 north and south.